Brat

by McCarthy, Andrew

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Summary
Fans of Patti Smith's Just Kids and Rob Lowe's StoriesI Only Tell My Friends will love this beautifully written, entertaining, and emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Weekend at Bernie's, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood's Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture.In his memoir Brat: An '80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "McCarthy, an actor, director, and writer, lays bare his meteoric rise to fame in the heyday of the 1980s. Early forays onto the stage in high school ignited McCarthy's passion for performing, and when he enrolled in New York University, he did so as a theater major. After some work on the stage, McCarthy got his big break in a film, Class, at the young age of 20, but it was a role in the iconic movie St. Elmo's Fire that put him on the map and got him labeled as a member of the "Brat Pack" along with '80s stars Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, and Emilio Estevez--a moniker the thespians all hated at the time. The irony was that he never felt part of the group, gradually realizing that while he loved acting, he did not enjoy the trappings of fame. With a candid exploration of his feelings of isolation along with his battles with alcohol and drug addiction, McCarthy's memoir will appeal to aspiring actors, fans of his work, and readers fascinated by the movie world."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The star of seminal 1980s coming-of-age movies St. Elmo's Fire and Pretty in Pink looks back on a decade that was more angsty for him than for his characters in this heartfelt memoir. Actor McCarthy (The Longest Way Home) revisits many raucous showbiz indignities--"my first day on the set of a feature film was spent in bra and panties"--and delves into the gnawing anxieties behind his heart-throb exterior: a sullen aloofness that masked his fear at auditions; spiraling alcoholism; loneliness in an L.A., where he "felt exposed and vulnerable on the deserted streets"; alienation on the coked-up set of Less Than Zero, where "the mood on the shoot turned from dark to nefarious" with a script "full of hate and self-degradation." McCarthy writes evocatively of his insecurities and dysfunctions--"I felt as if I existed behind a layer of opaque plexiglass... which would only clear when I took a drink"--but also of the high points when he felt "the simple joy at being there, at being alive and young" in front of the camera. McCarthy is clear-eyed and unsparing about Hollywood but takes the emotional intensity of the actor's craft and life seriously. The result is a riveting portrait of the artist as a young man. Photos. (May)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Biography & Autobiography
Nonfiction
Performing Arts
Publisher Grand Central Publishing2021
Language English
ISBN 9781538704769